tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 24, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
during campaign 2016, c-span takes the road to the white house as if all the candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> c-span's washington journal live every day with the news and policy issues that impact you. morning, sunday they're joined by phone to talk about an aviation bill pushed to the senate this week it designed to overhaul the federal aviation and bolsteron airport security and offer
consumer protections for frustrated travelers. then constitution party presidential nominee joins us from memphis to discuss his candidacy, the platform of the constitution party, and the obstacles facing third-party candidate our current system. also, jeffrey callan joins us to discuss his book which looks at the modern political primary created in the early 20th century. to watch c-span's washington journal beginning live at 7:00 a.m. sunday morning. >> this month we showcase our student cam winner. for middle and high school students. this years theme is road to the white house and students were asked, what issues do you want presidential candidates to address? one of our second prize high school winners is from seattle,
washington. leo pfeiffer, a sophomore at allard high school, once presidential candidates to discuss the criminal justice system and mass incarceration. his video title -- and incarcerated nation. president obama: the united states is home to 5% of the world's population but 25% of the world prisoners. we keep more people behind bars in the top 35 european countries combined. every year we spend $80 billion to keep folks incarcerated. >> this age of mass incarceration is violating our core principles in so many areas. we proclaim to be the land of freedom and liberty to have one of four people imprisoned goes against our core ideals, and now is the time we need a revolution
when i comes to issues of crime and punishment. >> we are at a place right now where we are several decades into focusing on punishment and being more punitive. >> it is a billion dollar industry, that people -- their odds of returning their investment, and i'm going to put money into it, how my going to get more money out of it. >> in washington, 20% of more of the people have been diagnosed as seriously mentally ill. 75% according to the department of corrections have drugs or addiction in their life. >> i think primarily based on race and socioeconomic status.
>> we need to discuss this conversation. president obama: one in every 35 african-american men, one in 88 latino men is serving time right now. among white men, that number is one in 214. into many places black boys and black men, latino boys and latino men experience being treated differently under the law. >> who in their life has never broken the law? we do not ask on applications, have you ever broken a law? we ask, have you barry -- ever been convicted of a crime? which is very interesting and very different. president obama: people of color are more likely to be frisked, charged, detained. >> as far as prisoners -- it does not manufacture millionaires. it does not manufacture business
owners. it does not manufacture the next president. >> and washington, the readmission rate is over 50%. more than half are returning with new felony convictions. >> the biggest barriers are finding housing and finding employment. >> most people have no family support. they have truly become poverty, and they almost have no alternative. really, truly have no alternative than to go do what they need to do from their past life to support themselves, to keep them from being hungry. >> from racism, economic inequality, lack of opportunities in poor neighborhoods, prisons becoming the homes of the severely mentally ill, our criminal justice in prison systems are in
crisis. with so many contriving factors, solutions must address them all. what can you do? >> the prison education program, we meet the immediate needs. we have people come out of prison, we pick them up, and within five days they are on a college campus, within three months they have a 4.0. >> we put them on a college campus, the insanity stops. but the state will not pay for that. we turned down 85% of applicants and most are deserving applicants. we are not helping them to the extent we should, or at all, because of lack of funding. >> what is most challenging is trying to shape and transform public opinion of current -- it
is easy to hate and stigmatize prisoners, it is socially acceptable to do so, and that is what makes this challenging. it is overcoming the perception out there. >> criminal justice reform can be an unpopular topic. there is more and more attention on criminal justice reform and seeing it as a civil rights issue and public interest issue. more and more people continue to talk about the importance and need of criminal justice reform. i think that is going a long way toward expanding the political will. president obama: people of all political persuasions are starting to think, we need to do something about this. >> a growing movement is beginning to address this long overdue problem, but for any progress it is up to us. we must tell lawmakers this is important to us. imagine the progress we can make
if americans demand that this is one of the most important issues during this 2016 presidential campaign. we can never forget the human toll it takes. >> the reality was, when you have to lay down on that pillow by yourself, you begin to think about your life and the things you could be doing. and that is the real hard experience of being incarcerated, the trajectory of my life could have been a lot different. it could have went in a different direction. instead of talking about car -- mass incarceration and speaking from a first-hand participant point, i could be speaking to you as a senator instead of how i did 20 years as a prisoner because of an institution that does not care about people. there goes my life. this is not fake.
this is real. somebody is not doing their job at the system level, and it hurts. i did time i not have had to do if somebody did their job. >> see all of the prize winning documentaries. visit studentcam.org. announcer: the white house correspondents' association is hosting its annual dinner next weekend. here on c-span, we will take a look at some of the speeches president obama has given over the last few years. that is followed by the civil discourse. later president meeting with , young adults at a town hall in london. on saturday, april 30, c-span presents live coverage of the
2016 white house correspondent'' dinner, an event that typically includes the president and prepared remarks. we will show you next a number of speeches by president obama at the event over the last few years. but first, we will talk to the senior white house correspondent for mcclatchy news. thanks for joining us. you were the president of the white house correspondents' association from 2013 to 2014, so you have a chance to sit beside the president during that event. how was that? did you get any juicy tidbits, or was it mostly small talk? >> yeah, but it was off the record, so i can't report it. i knew what he shot in golf that day. i found where he was going to
move after the white house. it is a little distracting, because i have in front of me a calendar. at 8:04 p.m., you have to introduce the marine band, at 8:07 p.m., you have to do this. i was going back and forth with chatting with him about golf and paying attention to my other job. host: by the way, our viewers can watch that particular speech with president obama and remarks by our guest on our website, c-span.org. you can also watch all the white house correspondents' dinner's that we have covered over the years. president obama has made a lot of self-deprecating jokes over the years. several topics come up repeatedly, including his birth certificate. who typically writes the monologues for president obama, and how would you say he has done, performance wise, over the years?
>> i think he has gotten better each year. i think for the first year or two he was ok, but the last couple of years he was terrific. he has grown into it, grow more comfortable. the white house speechwriting staff starts writing jokes down all year round. obviously, they write newer ones as we get closer to the dinner. we should look back and see how many trump jokes the president has made over the last few years. the speeches are written by professionals. they have consultants in washington. and they go to hollywood. stephen colbert has weighed in, which helps this white house. the writers of saturday night live have weighed in. they have the best in the business. host: you hear as many groans as laughs. the you think the president cares what the audience thinks, if they approve of his humor?
>> no. particularly the three i have worked with closely, clinton, george w. bush, and barack obama, are pretty polished politicians and can go with the flow. like, obama has a mocking laugh like, that didn't work, let's move on. host: how do you think president obama will approach this final dinner? >> they are all gracious. since reagan, every president has come to the dinner. jimmy carter did not like the white house correspondents' association by name and didn't come a couple of times. that they are all very gracious. and we are beating the heck out of them over a scandal or bad poll numbers, they come, they listen to jokes about them.
but i think from what i have learned in the past and present, sometimes it is a little work to be there that night, but i think you will be glad. there was an interview i did with him for the history channel that he was like wants to go to the dinner and just laugh at other people's jokes and not have to work, not be the performer. host: back in 2011, that particular speech occurred just before the osama bin laden raid. what was different about that speech by president obama? steve: it was very interesting. first, there was a debate in the top echelons of the administration whether he should even go to the dinner, because the seal team was about to be in harm's way. we know that then-secretary of state hillary clinton thought he should not go.
in fact, she was rather profane in her message. but he came, and we also know that there were only four or five people in the room. in the entire ball room, who knew. leon panetta, then-secretary of defense, said he would make eye contact with one or two people and the president, and they would have a knowing look about what was going on. host: thanks very much for being with us. we are now going to portions of president obama's white house correspondents' dinner speeches over the years, beginning with his first speech in 2009. pres. obama: michael steele is in the house tonight. or as he would say, in the heezy. [laughter] pres. obama: what's up? [laughter] [applause]
pres. obama: where is michael? michael, from last time, the republican party does not qualify for a bailout. [laughter] pres. obama: that does not count as a troubled asset, i'm sorry. [laughter] pres. obama: dick cheney was supposed to be here, but he isn't. he is busy working on his memoirs, tentatively titled "how to shoot friends and interrogate people." [laughter] pres. obama: you know, it has been a whirlwind of activity, these first 100 days. we have enacted major economic recovery packages, we have passed a budget, we have forged a new path in iraq, and no
president in history has ever named three commerce secretaries this quickly. [laughter] pres. obama: which reminds me, if judge reagan is here, your business cards are ready now. [laughter] pres. obama: on top of that, i have also reversed the ban on stem cell research, signed an expansion -- [applause] pres. obama: signed an expansion for children's health insurance. just last week, "car and driver" named me auto executive of the year, something am very proud of. [laughter] pres. obama: we have also begun to change the culture in washington. we have made the white house a place where people can learn. i have appointed a chair on the white house counsel for women and girls.
and i do appreciate that larry is here tonight, because it is seven hours past his bedtime. [laughter] pres. obama: he liked that one. in the last 100 days, we have also grown the democratic party by infusing it with new energy and bringing in fresh, young faces, like arlen specter. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: joe biden rightly deserves a lot of credit for convincing arlen to make the switch. but secretary clinton had a lot to do with it, too. one day she pulled him aside and said, arlen, you know what i always say, if you can't beat them, join them. [laughter] [applause]
pres. obama: which brings me to another thing that has changed in this new, warmer, fuzzier white house. that is my relationship with hillary. we had been rivals during the campaign, but these days we cannot be closer. in fact, the second she got back from mexico, she pulled me into a hug and gave me a big kiss, told me i had better get down there myself. so i really appreciate that. that was nice. [laughter] pres. obama: and of course, we have also begun to change america's image in the world. we have renewed alliances with important partners and friends. if you look at the screen, there i am with the japanese prime minister. there i am with gordon brown.
as i said during the campaign, we cannot just talk to her friends. we also have to talk to our enemies. i have begun to do exactly that. [laughter] pres. obama: let me be clear, just because he handed me a copy of "peter pan" does not mean i am going to read it. it is just diplomatic practice to accept these gifts. not all change has been easy. change never is. i have cut the tension by bringing new friends to the white house. warm, cuddly, loyal, enthusiastic. we just have to keep him on a tight leash. every once in a while, he goes charging in the wrong direction and gets himself into trouble. enough about joe biden.
[laughter] pres. obama: all in all, we are proud of the change we brought to washington in these first one hundred days, but we have a lot of work left to do, as all of you know, so i would like to talk a little bit about what my administration plans to achieve. during the second 100 days, we will open and dedicate a library to my first 100 days. [laughter] pres. obama: in the next 100 days, i will learn to go off the prompter and joe biden will learn to stay on the prompter. [laughter] pres. obama: in the next 100 days, my bipartisan outreach will be so successful, that even john boehner will consider becoming a democrat. after all, we have a lot in common. he is a person of color. [laughter]
pres. obama: although not a color that appears in the natural world. [laughter] pres. obama: what's up, john? [applause] pres. obama: in the next 100 days, i will meet with a leader who rules over millions with an iron fist. who owns tha airwaves, and he uses his power to crush all who challenges of authority at the ballot box. good to see you, mayor bloomberg. [laughter] pres. obama: in the next 100 days, we will house train our dog bo. the last thing anyone needs is someone treating him like a fire hydrant. [laughter]
pres. obama: in the next 100 days, i will strongly consider losing my cool. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: finally, i believe that my next 100 days will be so successful, i will be able to complete them in 72 days. [laughter] and on the 73rd day, i will rest. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: thank you so much, and to all the other board members, to honored guests, and to the lovely first lady. [applause] pres. obama: good evening. ed is right, i work a lot, so i was not sure if i should actually come.
biden talked me into it. [laughter] pres. obama: he leaned over and he said, "mr. president --" [laughter] pres. obama: this is no ordinary dinner. this is a big [beep] meal! [applause] [laughter] pres. obama: it has been quite a year since i spoke here last. lots of ups, lots of downs, except for my approval ratings, which have just gone down. [laughter] pres. obama: but that's politics, it doesn't bother me. besides, i know my approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth. [laughter]
[applause] pres. obama: and just the other day, my dear friend hillary clinton pulled me aside and gave me a pep talk. she said, don't worry, barack, you are likable enough. [laughter] pres. obama: which made me feel better. of course, i may not have had the star power that i once had, but in my defense, neither do all of you. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: people say to me, mr. president, you helped revive the banking industry. you helped save gm and chrysler. what about the news business? i have to explain, hey, i'm just
the president. i'm not a miracle worker. [laughter] pres. obama: though i am glad that the only person whose whose ratings fell more than my last year is here tonight. great to see you, jay. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: i am also glad that i am speaking first. we have all seen what happens when somebody takes the timeslot after 11:00. [applause] jay leno: good night, everyone! pres. obama: by the way, all the jokes tonight are brought to you by our friends at goldman sachs -- [laughter] pres. obama: you don't have to worry, they make money whether
you laugh or not. [laughter] pres. obama: we do have a number of notable guests in attendance tonight. obviously, i am most pleased that michelle accompanied me. she does not always go to these things. and there are -- [applause] pres. obama: there are a few things that are harder to find and more important to keep than love. well, love and your birth certificate. [laughter] pres. obama: the jonas brothers are here. they are out there somewhere. sasha and malia are huge fans. but boys, the get any ideas.
i have two big words for you, predator drones. you will never see them coming. [laughter] pres. obama: you think i'm joking. [laughter] pres. obama: speaking of tween heartthrobs, scott brown is here, i -- [applause] pres. obama: i admire scott. a politician in washington with nothing to hide. [laughter] pres. obama: now, you should be aware that scott brown is not the only one with a salacious total spread floating around. recently, david axelrod was offered a centerfold opportunity of his own. i did not know the krispy kreme had a catalog.
[laughter] pres. obama: but it's true. i saw michael steele backstage when we were taking pictures, a.k.a. notorious gop. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: michael knows what truly plagues america today, taxation without representin'. [laughter] pres. obama: my brotha. [applause] pres. obama: i did a similar routine last year, but it always works. odds are that the flies are here. [laughter]
pres. obama: there have not been people that were more unwelcome at a party since charlie crist. [gasps] [laughter] pres. obama: unfortunately, john mccain couldn't make it. recently he claimed that he had never identified himself as a maverick, and we all know what happens in arizona when you don't have id. adios! [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: look, i feel for john. we were on the road together, obviously had a hard-fought battle. you learn at the national level, politics is not easy. this year, i had my share of disappointments. for example, i had my heart on
the nobel prize for physics. [laughter] pres. obama: but, hey. you can't win them all. [laughter] pres. obama: as some of you heard, the state of hawaii released my official long-form birth certificate. hopefully this puts all doubts to rest. but just in case there are any lingering questions, tonight i am prepared to go a step further. tonight, for the first time, i am releasing my official birth video. [laughter] pres. obama: now, i warned you,
back to square one. i want to make clear to the foxnews table, that was a joke. [laughter] pres. obama: that was not my real birth video. that was a children's cartoon. [laughter] pres. obama: call disney if you don't believe me. they have the original longform version. [laughter] pres. obama: anyway, it's good to be back with so many esteemed guests, celebrities, senators, journalists, essential government employees. nonessential government employees. you know who you are. i am looking forward to seth myers tonight.
[laughter] pres. obama: he is a fresh, young face who can do no harm in the eyes of his fans. enjoy it while it lasts. i think it is fair to say that when it comes to my presidency, the honeymoon is over. [laughter] pres. obama: for example, some people now suggest that i am too professorial, and i would like to address that had on by assigning all of you some reading that will help you draw your own conclusions. [laughter] pres. obama: others say that i am arrogant, that i found a really great self-help tool for this. my poll numbers. [laughter] [applause]
pres. obama: i even let down my key core constituency, movie stars. just the other day, matt damon -- i love matt damon, love the guy -- matt damon said he was disappointed in my performance. well, matt, i just saw "the adjustment bureau," so -- [laughter] [applause] right back at you, buddy. [applause] [laughter] pres. obama: i also can count on someone who always has my support, michelle. [applause] pres. obama: we made a team at the easter egg hunt this week. i would hand out candy to the kids, and she would snatch them
right out of their little hands. [laughter] pres. obama: snatch them. and where is the national public radio table? you guys are still here. that's good. i can't remember where we landed on that. [laughter] pres. obama: i know you were a little tense when the gop tried to cut your funding, but personally i was looking forward to new programming like "no things considered." [laughter] pres. obama: or, "wait, wait, don't fund me." [laughter] pres. obama: of course, the
deficit is a serious issue. that's why paul ryan cannot be here. his budget has no room for laughs. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: michele bachmann is here, i understand, and she is thinking about running for president, which is weird because i hear she was born in canada. [laughter] pres. obama: yes, michelle, this is how it starts. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: tim pawlenty. he seems all-american, but have you heard his real middle name? what a shame. [laughter]
pres. obama: my buddy, our outstanding ambassador jon huntsman is with us. there is something you might not know about jon. he did not learn to speak chinese to go there. oh, no. he learned english to come here. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: and then, there is a vicious rumor floating around that i think could really hurt mitt romney. i heard he passed universal health care when he was governor of massachusetts. [laughter] pres. obama: someone should get to the bottom of that, and i know just the guy to do it, donald trump! [applause] [laughter]
pres. obama: i know that he has taken some flack lately, but no one is happier, no one is prouder to put this birth certificate matter to rest than the donald. that's because he can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like, did we fake the moon landing? [laughter] pres. obama: what really happened in roswell? and where are biggie and tupac? [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: all kidding aside, we obviously know about your credentials and breadth of experience. [laughter] pres. obama: for example, in an episode of "celebrity
apprentice," at a steakhouse, the men's cooking team did not impress the judges from omaha steaks. and there was a lot of blame to go around, but you, mr. trump, recognized that the problem was a lack of leadership, and so you did not blame lil jon, or meat loaf, you fired gary busy. [laughter] pres. obama: and these are the kinds of decisions that would keep me up at night. [applause] well handled, sir, well handled. say what you will about mr. trump, he would bring some
chance -- change to the white house. [laughter] the problem is of the media landscape is changing so rapidly, you can't keep up with it. i will bring buzz feed was something i did in college around 2:00 a.m. [laughter] pres. obama: it's true. recently, i found a new favorite source for political news, these guys are great i think everybody should check it out. ov.is called whitehouse.g i cannot get enough of it. the is, i really do respect
press. unrecognized a different jobs to do. my job is to be president, your job is to keep me humble. frankly, i think i'm doing my job better. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: part of the problem is, everybody is so cynical. feedingonstantly cynicism, suspicion, conspiracies. a few months ago, my administration put out a photograph of me going skeet shooting at camp david, member that? quite a number of people insisted that this has been photoshop. tonight, i hasn't been to confess. you're right. can you than the actual photo? [laughter]
we would just trying to tone it down a little bit. [laughter] pres. obama: that was an awesome day. [laughter] pres. obama: there are other new players in the media landscape, like super pacs. did you know that sheldon spend $100 million of his own money last year on negative ads? you have to really dislike me to spend that kind of money. that is oprah money. [laughter] pres. obama: you could buy an "nobama" forll it that money. sheldon would be better off offering me one of two to drop out of the race. -- $100 million to drop out of the race. [laughter]
[applause] i probably did taken it. but i would've thought about it. [laughter] pres. obama: michelle would have taken it. you think i'm joking? [laughter] i know republicans are still sorting out what happened in 2012, but one thing they all agree on is they need to do better job reaching out. look, common self-centered, but i could think of one minority they could start with. [laughter] pres. obama: hello? [laughter] [applause] me as aama: think of trial run, [laughter] pres. obama: see how it goes.
if they wantome to me, i will come to them. recently, i had dinner with a number of the republican senators. i will admit, it wasn't easy. i proposed a toast, it'd died in committee. [laughter] pres. obama: of course, even after i have done all this, some folks still don't think i spend enough time with congress. why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell, why do they ask? really ? [laughter] pres. obama: why don't you get a drink with mitch mcconnell. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: i'm sorry, i get frustrated sometimes. [laughter] pres. obama: i'm not giving up.
in fact, i'm taking my charm offensive on the road. cruz,s barbecue with ted kentucky bluegrass concert with a rand paul, and a book burning with michele bachmann. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: my charm offensive has help me learn some interesting things about what is going on in congress. it turns out, absolutely nothing. [laughter] but, the point of my charm offensive is simple. we need to make progress on some important issues. take the sequester, republicans fell in love with this thing. now they can't stop talking about how much they hate it. it is like we're trapped in a taylor swift album. [laughter]
pres. obama: one senator who has reached across the aisle recently is marco rubio, but i don't know about 2016. the guy hasn't even finished a single term in the senate and he thinks he's ready to be president. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: kids these days. [laughter] look, it is true i have not managed to make everybody happy. six years into my presidency sumps people still say i'm ellie -- arrogant, and aloof and condescending. some people are so dumb. [laughter] pres. obama: no wonder i don't meet with them. [laughter] not allama: that's people say about me. a few mexico, dick cheney said he thinks i am the worst
president of his lifetime. because interesting, think dick cheney is the worst president of my lifetime. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: quite a coup incidents. -- coincidence. recently said people shouldn't join our military until a true conservative is elected president. think about that. it was so outrageous 47 ayatollah's wrote us a letter trying to explain to huckabee how our system works. [applause] [laughter] pres. obama: it gets worse. this week, michele bachmann actually predicted that i would bring about the biblical end of days.
[laughter] pres. obama: now that is a legacy. [applause] pres. obama: that is big. lincoln, washington, they didn't do that. [laughter] pres. obama: i just had to put the stuff aside. i have to stay focused on my job. for many americans, this is still a time of deep uncertainty. i have one friend, just a few weeks ago, she was making millions of dollars a year. she is now living out of a fan in iowa. [applause] pres. obama: meanwhile, back here at our nation's capital we
are always dealing with new challenges. i'm happy to report that the secret service thanks is an excellent reporting of focusing on some of the issues that have come up. they finally figured out a foolproof way to keep people off of my lawn. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: it works. jumpers,ot just fence asimov you know a drone crash landed a few months ago out back. don't worry, we have installed a new state-of-the-art security system. [laughter] pres. obama: let me set the record straight, i see joe sometimes, he has been at my side for seven years. i love that man. [applause]
pres. obama: he is not just a great price -- vice president, he is a great man. we gotten so close in some places in indiana they won't serve us pizza anymore. [laughter] i want to thank our host for the evening, a chicago girl. [applause] pres. obama: on saturday night live, she impersonates cnn anchor, which is surprising because usually the only people impersonating journalists on cnn are journalists on cnn. [laughter] pres. obama: abc is he was some of the stars from the new series
"blackish." it is a great show, but i figured abc fair warning, being only makes you popular for so long, trust me. [applause] [laughter] pres. obama: there is a shelf life to that thing. [laughter] as always, the reporters here have a lot to cover over the last year. one big story was the brutal turf. the polar vortex caused so many record lows they renamed it msnbc. [laughter] pres. obama: of course, let's face it -- there is one issue on every reporter's mind that is 2016. already we have seen some missteps. turns out, jeb bush identified
himself as hispanic back in 2009. i understand, it is an innocent mistake. it reminds me of when i miss identified myself as american in 1961. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: ted cruz said that denying the just of climate change made him like galileo. [laughter] that is not really an apt comparison. [laughter] pres. obama: galileo believed the earth revolved around the sun. ted cruz believes the earth revolves around ted cruz. [laughter] pres. obama: just as an aside, when i guy who has his face on a hope poster cause you self-centered you know you have a problem. [laughter] iss. obama: narcissism creeping up a little too high.
meanwhile, rick santorum announced he would not attend the same-sex wedding of a friend or loved one. to which gays and lesbians across the country responded that is not going to be a problem. [laughter] [applause] don't sweat that one. donald trump is here. still. [laughter] [applause] pres. obama: anyway. [laughter] pres. obama: it is amazing how time flies. soon the first presidential contest will take place and i cannot wait to see who thekoch brothers pick. it is exciting for the marco rubio, rand paul, ted cruz, jeb
bush, scott walker, who will finally get that red rose? [laughter] pres. obama: the winner gets a billion-dollar warchest, the runner-up gets to be the bachelor on the next season of the bachelor. seriously, $1 billion. from just two guys. is it just me or does that feel a little excessive. it is almost insulting to the candidate. think theyothers need to spend a billion dollars to get folks to like one of these people. that has to hurt their feelings in little bit. i know i have raised a lot of money, but in all fairness my middle name is hussein. what is their excuse? [laughter] [applause]
the trail hasn't been easy for my fellow democrats either. as we all know, hillary's e-mails got her in trouble. i thought it was going to be her private instagram account that would cause her bigger problems. [laughter] hillary kicks things off by going completely unrecognized at a chipotle. not to be undone, martin completelynt unrecognized at a martin o'malley campaign event. [laughter] [applause] and bernie sanders might run. i like bernie. apparently, some folks really want to see a pot-smoking
socialist in the white house. we could get a third obama term after all. [applause] it could happen. [applause] anyways, i always want to close on a more serious note. i was juncker about tensions between me and the press. but honestly, what they say doesn't bother me. i understand we've got a none -- an adversarial system. i'm a mellow sort of guy. luther, my i invited anger translator, to join me tonight. [laughter] [applause] [laughter] luther: hold on to your lily president: in our
fast-changing world, events like the correspondents dinner is important. luther: i mean, really. what is this thing? and why am i required to come to it? you know, bush -- president obama: because of our differences, we count on the press to share light on the most important issues of the day. luther: and we can count on fox news to terrify some white people with some nonsense. [indiscernible] sounds ridiculous! president obama: we won't always see eye to eye. luther: and cnn, thanks so much for the wall-to-wall ebola coverage. for two weeks, we were two steps away from the walking dead. that was awesome. and by the way, if you haven't ebola., we don't have president obama: i still deeply
appreciate the work that you do. luther: remember the bagel hole on the bottom of the gulf of mexico? remember that? which obama's katrina was that? i can't remember. ourident obama: protecting democracy is more important than ever. example, the supreme court ruled that the donor that gave ted cruz $6 million was just exercising free speech. like this. speech luther: i just wasted $6 million. president obama: hillary will have to raise huge sums of money, too. luther: oh, yeah. money.ng to get that she's going to get all the money! westboroughoming to . [laughter] [applause] watch out!
obama: focus on investor donors creates problems for our democracy. luther: that's why we are ready for a third term. president obama: no, we're not. the we still face some big challenges, like climate change. luther: if you haven't noticed, california is bone dry. the trailer for the new mad max movie up in there. are you think bradley cooper came here because he wants to talk to chuck todd? he needed a glass of water. [laughter] [applause] scientistsbama: the say nine of the last 10 decades were in the hottest ever.
luther: we've got mosquitoes, sweaty people on the train stinking it up and it's just nasty. president obama: i mean, look at it -- what is happening right now. every scientist says we need at him the pentagon says it is a national security risk. instead of doing anything about it, we've got elected officials throwing snowballs in the senate. luther: i got it. president obama: it's crazy! what about our kids! what kind of shortsighted, irresponsible -- wit,r: weight, weight -- ait, wait! obama: what? luther: with all the respect, sir. you don't need an anger translator. you need counseling. i'm out of here.
i don't need to get into all of this. no. [applause] the white house correspondents association will hold its dinner a. live coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. eastern with guest arrivals. and then remarks from the president and host comedian larry wilmore. >> we are joined by caroline lucas meyer. now by carolyn lukensmeyer, the executive director of the university of arizona's national institute for civil discourse. she is also previously the founder of an award-winning nonprofit that tried to engage people through public policy tools and policies. she also served as washington chief of staff from 1993 to 1994. thank you for being with us.
the national institute of civil discourse, we have not heard a lot of civil discourse lately. tell us what your organization does. guest: the institute was created the011 after gabby gifford, assassination attempt on her life in tucson. she was an official who worked in a completely bipartisan way. the of arizona and tucson came together very quickly saying, we have to make something good come out of this horrible tragedy. founded in order to see impact on the an political dysfunction that now dominates our country. host: how do you do that? guest: we work with three target withs here in congress, state legislators, and with
journalists and the public. one of the things that is really unfortunate about where we are in the country is our mass media messages and political messages are all negative. if you dig beneath that, in states and communities, and sometimes nationally, there are a lot of positive things happening that can give us hope the situation we are in. americans are ashamed, frustrated. those are the words we hear in every community we go to. does a shandwick civility poll every two years. in the 2016 polling, 95% of americans say that incivility is a serious problem. 77% of americans recognize that we are losing stature in the world. 64% say they have just stopped
watching politics altogether. you know, the statistic that worries me the most, 37% of americans, almost 40%, say they think that is the way it is now, that is how politics has to be. host: you can join in on our conversation with carolyn lukensmeyer. we're going back to traditional phone lines for this segment. republicans, (202) 748-8001. democrats, (202) 748-8000. ts, (202) 745-8002. you can also send a message on twitter, @cspanwj. you say that the majority of americans feel that this discourse is the way it is. now orin a unique time
has it been this way always? guest: the judgment is that incivility in our politics and communities is the worst it has been since reconstruction. there is no question that we slope inn a downward terms of our lack of respect for each other when we speak, the ideological absolutism about issues. when people agree on an issue, they don't hear each other's or to hear enough about why they hold those issues. host: what have you found is driving this polarization of the public and heated rhetoric we hear on both sides of the aisle s?rug guest: many structural issues, too much money in politics, the
driveat primaries work to the parties to the extreme. extraordinaryst statesman have been driven out of their work in washington by primarycally divided process. frankly, another piece that you would speak about is the media's business model has changed in a way in which so much more of what is covered in mass media about politics is really celebrity and entertainment, rather than driven by news. these structural issues, it took us decades ticket here. it will take us decades to reverse that direction. that means that today, making a difference about this today, we have to rely on people.
it has to be about how americans, who are very disappointed, and tend to disengage -- what we need to do is step in and speak up. we need to let the congressman know that they should hold hearings for the supreme court justice because that is constitutional. politicians need to hear from constituents. it is not ok for me, as one of constituents, it is not ok for me for you to jump on the anti-muslim rhetoric bandwagon. the best approach is understanding that the vast majority of us want this to change. the only way it will change is if we speak up. host: are you affiliated with any political party? guest: i should have said that.
we are completely nonpartisan. the american democracy is a very unique system. anyas built to not allow majority to control a policy discussion, how resources are used. compromise was the essence of the american political system. yet, we have now, in this ideological war, there are people who say that compromise, by definition, is against my ideological stand. host: let's turn to the phone lines to montana, tom, good morning. caller: i attempted a sporting event at the university of arizona. it was a three day event. i would like the person sitting there to attend a sporting event at her school, and see how uncivil the people are, the players, the coaches, and the
crowd. tell me how you would react to that. guest: i'm very sorry you had that experience. my guess is that is an experienced replicated at sporting events all over this country at this particular point in time. it is unacceptable. that is not what should happen in collegiate sports at any time. we have almost made sports like theater, a place where people get out their emotions and are uncivil to other spectators and teams. again, i'm very sorry you had that experience. unfortunately, i know it is not just at the university of arizona. robert is next on the independent line. caller: good morning. look, i definitely understand
theaterthat it seems like all s reporting seems to be closed off to citizens. i'm a disabled phenom vegan. i reported some veterans being ofsed, and the secretary veterans affairs under george bush came to intervene. ever since then, i have blackballed, by devout, things i could not believe. 4 vietnamd for via -- veteran friends commit suicide over this behavior. americans areve like this. guest: thank you very much. i know the issue is very profound for veterans, frankly
for those of afghanistan and iraq. one thing that the institute for civil discourse has done, in order to give people more of her voice, we have created a software program that works with texting on your phone. we from that program on thecally for th issue of suicide. robert, you might want to take your phone and text the number word, "start." no, no veteran should have to go through what some growth through in terms of getting adequate medical care wednesday return. i hope you have tried to contact your congressman, another way that should kick your -- get
your voice heard. host: you have also launched text-talk-act for millennials. guest: yes. after the shooting of elementary children in newtown, president obama called for a discussion on mental health. six or initiations collaborated. more than 300 communities have participated deeply in this. youngy, when we saw how people are ready to stand up and say the stigma that has impacted health in this country is wrong, we actually created this platform that i spoke about. we did several focus days. april 19 was the last one. our partners were college campus groups. more than 5000 young people across the united states
participated four days ago. we will do it again on may 5. part of why i am here is we need to do this not just on issues of mental health. we need to do it on the election campaign we are in. we will launch the same platform which will be text-talk-vote to enable millennials to look at the issues. completely again, nonpartisan. hopefully that will be support and motivation for them to vote in 2016. crack ism new jersey, a -- craig is on the line. caller: you are talking about civility. you don't need to go any further than listen to the radio. somebody like rush limbaugh. totally non-civil. they call people names on the
radio. they say things that they could never get away with saying on tv. it goes on hour after hour after hour. i think he has a three-hour show at night. i would challenge you to turn it on and listen to all three hours. it literally makes you sick. guest: your point is very well taken. you have focused on the rush limbaugh program. unfortunately, that is an arena where americans feel that all fact,s of media, in millennials will say it is the sphere that is the most detrimental in their lives. the americans feel that media is part of the problem. that is another thing our organization is reporting on.
m inonvened with the newseu washington. 35 working journalists from all medium -- television, newspapers, and the internet, and we engage them in a conversation. instability in the media, what can journalist do about it? that was so inspiring, we have moved to the next phase, which but ringingeeper, together civilians -- bringing together civilians and journalists themselves. we did that in ohio. .hio is a swing state people might not know more money is spent on media. it is hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly negative, and the public is sick of it. in the workshop, where we brought together all three
aspects that make the democracy work, american should know, 30 news outlets in ohio are collaborating on a strategy during the campaign to engage candidates not necessarily on predefined platforms, but on things like the economy, immigration. when candidates come to these media outlets, they are asking the questions that the citizens nt toio most one to -- oncwa hear about. we will have a chance to see the impact at the end of the cycle. host: what was the reaction from the participants? guest: young people of color in the state of ohio, very passionate about experiences they had about what they called food or suppression,
groups.arly of minority the gentleman who had been president of the senate for two wass, a leader in ohio aghast to hear what you heard because he had tried to make it easier to vote. we had these two realities sitting in the same room. unfortunate, in most environments, if that clash had happened, it would result in lack of respect, serious conflicts. in the context of where we were working, the young people of color, and this former president of the senate has worked together to say, this is real, some people did not get to
blow, this is real, we have done good work in ohio, but present both pieces of data to the current secretary of state and see what we can do about it for 2016. the point is we put americans in the context, whether they are elected officials, citizens, journalists, when they feel safe enough to speak with is true to them, but they also commit to listening respectfully, they do exactly what the tocqueville said about us -- they let go of differences and come together to say, how can we solve this problem? charles from richmond, virginia is joining the conversation next. go ahead. caller: i'm listening to what the lady is saying.
i think about one particular republican, i'm not recalling his name. the he is doing is purging republican party. it has been in bad shape for the last 8-10 years. we talk about civility, let's talk about what these politicians are saying. lie toian should not people and tell kids, especially the young people, what they can do and have. it will turn off these computer from voting later. if you expect to get them to vote, you have to tell them the truth. you have another politician talking about getting rid of the irs. who will take up the money? guest: your point is very well
taken. i think one of the things that americans are really concerned rhetoric int the this presidential primary fearful, as many are and predicting it will be worth or as bad in the general because these people running for president themselves are using language to make it seem like it is ok to be violent under certain circumstances. you have young people all over the country held up to us as role models this way. bullygins to make it ok to ful y if i am in high school, or we have examples in elementary school where small white children say to people of color, if so-and-so is president, you will not be in school. this is outrageous.
host: is there a chicken and egg issue here? some candidates would say they are respecting the anger that already exists and concerns that exist among the american populace. guest: that is the question that comes up on the time. this is a place where there is tremendous data to say that the creation of this hyper partisanship and absolutism about values started first with elected officials in congress. it is now impacting and pulling more people with them. to date, it is still true that our people are more likely to stay civil then our politicians. host: mike, go ahead. good morning. caller: good morning, ladies. in my view, the ideological
in my experience, effective. very civility is patriotic. i believe see press deserves a lot of the blame. coverageogue with more than all other candidates combined, that might be merited, if he were not that stupid. he is a one trick pony. he reliably reacts with fallacies. please?ve your comment, that: there is no question most americans, whatever their party affiliation, would agree with you that at the beginning of this campaign, the amount of
earned media given to particular candidates did not, at that point, reflect a following of the american public. it has turned into a following of the american public. is welllieve your point taken. it comes back to traditional shifting journalism over the last decade. at this point in time, six families own all of the broadcast and print elements available to the american public. the model has shifted to an entertainment-celebrity type coverage versus what was judicially more true, the media as a source of information across the ideological spectrum on issues accurately as, what
can the public do in terms of pushing back on the shift. hometown, what media you watch, when you see something that is unacceptable to you, we mostly feel like there is nothing we can do about it, but it can make a difference if people pick up the phone and called the broadcast station, or youru write a letter to newspaper, it can make a difference. we really have to come together as the american public and provide civility. it is the patriotic value. it is part of the core sense of how we can come together across two plus centuries and fashion such an extraordinary economy and culture was so much difference from the beginning.
we have now fallen back to treating differences as if it is a problem, instead of recognizing it as it has always been, and extraordinary asset to our nation. host: bob from ohio is on the line. work hereu do great good morning. it is oklahoma, a cherokee capital. . i think you are doing great work. good morning to both of you. you are doing good work. this is very important. i cannot agree with the previous collymore. he articulated what needs to be repeated over and over again, and to articulate more on what you were saying, you were using words after the previous caller to describe the situation at
hand like we do not recognize certain things what we do other things mindlessly. i think this goes back to the ofuation of the complicity the media. we want people to be involved. there is this encouragement to get people involved. this meant just articulated what the problem really is. ,ad we stay with that issue rather than going to the overall public whichf the will draw in a lot of people who are frankly uninformed. in the media, we have to have some responsibility and come to square. how do we identify what is reason, truth, legitimate authority, instead of being
complicit in continuing the charade of a legitimate power in our country? guest: i think you and the previous caller has put your finger on a very important intont of how we have come the situation of such a degradation of our civility and dysfunction in our politics. as a said earlier, what has brought us here are some very significant structural things that have taken decades to come to be. there are good things going on to try to change that. voteganization called fair that is working on open primary so that independents can vote in primaries, which would make a huge difference in terms of who are candidates are. what we do is try to point citizens to resources where you can work on these long-term
problems. sittingeantime, we're in april, in one of the most contentious presence of campaigns in history -- at this moment in time, what is most important is want to understand it as clearly as you understand it, think of a way in your community, maybe it is work with way,l leadership, but some come together with other people in your community who share this view. at the national institute for civil discourse, we are getting tremendous support from the public to essentially almost create a campaign type of process to revive civility. we hope you will join us. host: you mentioned a workshop you held at the newseum for journalists.
you also help a workshop in ohio. how do you create a safe space for discourse, and what are some things that you focus on and teach during the workshops? guest: i'm so glad you asked that. one of the things that we see that is most hopeful, and other than the coverage and idaho, the story does not get out nationally. we have a project called next generation in which we go into state legislators and start with trustshop called building through civil discourse. we always make sure it is a balanced group of about the same number of democrats and republicans, and there are a few independents. we come together for about 45 hours. we have the legislators
themselves to find the ground rules about how we want to behave together during those hours. we do not impose those. we open up the table to say -- and most of them have had bad experiences themselves on the floor. i will never forget a new member on the ohio legislator, republican woman, who said at the end of the workshop she was so pleased and now we had to have another workshop which is how do you start a conversation with someone who called to evil floorled you evil on the yesterday. state legislative, because they are more closely connected to the public, they get more store,k at the grocery at school. they know that they have to produce legislation on the issues that matter. they want to come and find out for way too treat each other and
come back to a place where there is bipartisan support for bills to pass. we have now worked in 12 states. within 450 state legislators have participated in this. we have created a national network of those legislators who actually every two weeks participate in conference calls and come together regionally for face-to-face meetings. each year, we give the gabby giffords award to a republican and democrat or group of republicans and democrats who reversee solid work and would the negative trend in their state. host: kevin is next on the independent line. good morning. caller: good morning. i clearly understand that civility in politics is a task for politicians.
with the whole world looking at us now, are candidates that we have in the forefront seem to be continuously recycled. my question is for any systemtion and political that requires civility in election today from the politicians? guest: this is a very good question. there is no existing national legislation requiring civility. what am just talking about about thework we are doing in legislators, interestingly enough, the state of colorado has introduced a proposition which actually sets out what they see as civil behavior, both in how they treat each other, and how they treat people who testify in that state. we're beginning to see this. delmar, california, i believe is the first city in the country
with the city council and mayor have passed the code of civility that they expect every one to stay connected to. terry, indiana initiated civility called world today with had people from indiana and other states -- i believe 13 people from other countries for dissipating -- participating. hascity club of idaho created a year-long agenda in which they talk about what is the response bill before of everyinvoicing sector. one month a look at the legislator, another month, they look at education, another .onth, the judicial system doinge created a network
exactly what you have said. it is not to force agreement where there is not agreement. frankly, it has always been understood, if you can create a safe space and understand why i think and what is important to me, we almost 100% of the time discover that we have more common ground than we expected to discover. we also learned that in the political culture, certain words started to be flashpoints. i want to go back to the issue .f voting i will never forget the moment when a young african-american woman in the process said that the most important thing i have manyed here is that i know
people of color who did not get to vote. if i call that folder suppression, visit way -- the very people that need to hear me will not hear it. is ownedanguage that r's. or the a base for civility is to really think about an issue that i care about, am i thinking about it that the person on the other side of the i will listen to me. host: andrew, what is your question or comment? caller: my question is the role of the media is so great,
currentate, in the presidential campaign process, hasave seen how the media informed the public in regard to what the issues are. how do we restore the sense of rightness and truth to the political system so that we do not misinform the public? to go back tong the example of the work that we did in ohio. ohionews association, the broadcast association has picked it up and run with it. we talk about the media as if it is one big thing. we think of congress and casted as all of the same ilk. what we find is some people are trying to do the right thing,
others have fallen into the pattern that you and other callers have described. but we need to do is where we can impacted it locally, we need to discover who are the anchors, those newscasters, clear from how they speak, that they want to go exactly where you want to go. create media partnerships where they are not standard.different when they interact with the candidates, they are not starting from the candidates position, which may not be fact-based, but rather, they start from the key questions that the people in ohio care about. educationalion, reform. positions to their that the candidates have to issues.to fact-based
this can be done. work, but we have to find, where can i take a stand and join with other people who also know what we have to do. host: amassed caller for the segment will be david from new jersey on the republican line. go ahead. yes, i want to correct the people. rush limbaugh does not come on at nighttime. it shows that the caller nor the lady know what they are talking about. not that i am defending him. likew tri jersey, i would her to talk about two things. the politicians have lied to us for so long, that is why people are upset. you talk about the media. how can we trust the media when for a voters will vote
democrat. you talk about supreme court president obama. did you know that right here in new jersey, a person was nominated to the supreme court and the democratic-controlled legislator refused for two years straight to hold a hearing. now, he nominated a democrat. within two weeks of that person getting a hearing before the committee, it was unanimous. what about this kind of partisanship? the lies from the politicians. the media is not trusted. host: we will have to leave it there. your final thoughts? guest: what comes to my mind most at the moment is the famous lincolnom president
around the civil war, when he whereabout the fact that we were, everyone has to make a choice. joy come from a place of better twols in my character or basic instincts? we are at a time where it feels to americans like our institutions are operating from basic instincts, not treating us respectfully, not acting with integrity, as we think those institutions should behave. in part, that may be true, in part, inmate the false. point whenare at a americans have lost faith in our institutions. it will take decades to rebuild .hat faith and trust in the meantime, we have to
it.men we have to have faith in ourselves to step up, speak up, and take positive action to ve civility in your home, your school, your community, and this presidential campaign. host: announcer: c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up this morning, associated press transportation reporter joan lowell joins us this morning to talk about an thetion built pass through senate designed to overhaul the federal aviation administration, bolster airport security, and offer consumer protections for frustrated travelers. comes constitution party presidential nominee darrell castle joins us from memphis to
discuss his candidacy, the platform of the constitution party, and the obstacles facing third party candidates in our two-party system. also, jeffrey callan joins us with his new book, "let the people rule." be sure to watch c-span's washington journal beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern this morning. join the discussion. [cheers and applause] president obama: hello, everybody. take you so much. have a seat. oh, hello, london.
it is good to be back in the u.k.. thank you for that wonderful introduction. was saying backstage -- i would vote for her for something. i want to thank our u.s. ambassador for all the great work he has done. and it is wonderful to see all of you. i guess you all know why i came this week. it is no secret. nothing was going to stop me from wishing happy birthday to her majesty. [laughter] and meeting george. [laughter] who was adorable. michelle and i had the privilege to visit with her majesty and the duke of edinburgh yesterday. i can't tell you what we talked about.
i can to you that i hope i am such a engaging lunch partner when i am 90. and i would like to thank her majesty for letting us use one of her horticultural halls for this town hall. i also just came from touring shakespeare's growth -- shakespeare's globe, which is a good way to start your saturday morning. today is the 400th anniversary of shakespeare's death. wrote, remedy is the soul of wit. a i hope we have time for conversation. these are some of the favorite things that i do when i travel around the world, a chance to meet with young people and hear from them directly. it is inspiring to me. it gives me new ideas. i think it underscores the degree to which young people are your -- are rising up in every continent to seize the possibilities of tomorrow.
now, whenever i get together with leaders of the united states and the u.k., you hear about the special relationship and the shared values and interests that bind us together in the way that our cooperation makes the world safer, more secure, a more just and prosperous place. and all of that is true. we go back a pretty long way, the u.k. and the u.s.. we have had our quarrels. whole teathat incident. the british burned my house down. [laughter] up.we made and ended, we made up up spilling blood on the battlefields together side-by-side come against fascism, against tyranny for freedom and for democracy.
and from the ashes of war, we led the charge to create the institutions and initiatives that sustained a prosperous peace. nato, redwoods, the marshall plan, the eu, the joint efforts and sacrifices of previous generations of americans and brits are a big part of why we have known decades -- decades of relative peace and prosperity in europe. and that in turn has helped to spread peace and prosperity around the world. and think about how extraordinary that is. for more than 1000 years, this was darkened by war and violence. it was taken for granted. it was assumed that that was the fate of land. -- of man. that isn't to say that your generation has had it easy. both here and the united states, your generation is what -- is going up in a time of change.
you're growing up of age through 9/11 and seven/seven. you had friends go off to war. you have seen families endure recession. the challenges of our time, economic inequality and climate migration --rism, all of these things are real. and in the age of instant information, where tv and twitter can feed us a steady stream of bad news, i know that it can sometimes seem like the order we have created is fragile . maybe even crumbling. maybe the center cannot hold. we have seen new calls for isolationists or xenophobia. we see those who would call for rolling back the rights of people. in theirnkering down own point of use and unwilling to engage in a democratic debate.
impulses, i think, we can understand. they are reactions to changing times and uncertainty. but when i speak to young people, i implore them and i implore you to reject those calls to pull back. i am here to ask you to reject the notion that we are gripped by forces that we cannot control. and a want you to take a longer and more optimistic view of history and the part that you play on. i ask you to think on one of my president -- predecessors, john f. kennedy. he is said and problems are man-made. therefore, they can be solved by man. and men can be as big as he wants. in 1950 -- since 1950, the global life expectancy has risen
by 25 years. we've come from a world where only a small fraction of women could vote to one where almost every woman can. since the year 2000, we have come from a world without marriage equality to one where it is a reality in nearly two dozen countries, including here in the united states. speak with aths, i new group of white house interns . they are roughly our age. they come in for six months. they are assigned to various aspects of the white house. and i often talk to them about the fact that, if you could choose one moment in history in which to be born and you didn't know ahead of time what you were man orwhether you were a a woman, what nationality, what ethnicity, what religion, who your parents were, what class
status you might have -- if you could choose one time in history where the chances that you lead a fulfilling life were most promising, you would choose right now, this moment. because the world, for all of its travails, for all of its challenges, it has never been healthier, better educated, wealthier, more tolerant, less violent, more attentive to the rights of all people. -- of all people than it is today. that isn't to say that we don't have big problems. that isn't a call for complacency. that is a cause -- a call for optimism. standing at a moment where your capacity to shape
this world is unmatched. what an incredible privilege that is. and you've never had better tools to make a difference, to forge a better u.k. and a better europe and a better world. so my primary message today is going to be to reject sm is him and cynicism, and know that progress is possible, that our problems can be solved. progress requires the harder path of breaking down barriers and standing up for tolerance and diversity that our nations have worked and sacrificed to secure and defend. progress is not inevitable. it requires struggle and perseverance and faith. but that is the story of how we won voting rights and women's rights and workers rights and civil rights and immigration rights and gay rights. because of those who came before
lives torisked their give us the chance to know something better. that is what gives me so much hope about your generation. so many of you are gripped by that same impulse. that has generation seen integration and globalization, not as threats, but as opportunities, for education and expiration and employment and exchange. a generation that sees differences of pluralism and diversity, not as a curse, but as a great gift. that is one of the reasons why the united states has invested in your leadership programs around the globe. last summer, we launched young toders u.k. and it has grown 1000 nationwide. aged 18e group of brits
to 30, from government and ngos and the private sector. i know there have been workshops in my than 100 high schools, 14,000 -- we want you to have the tools, connections and resources that you need to make yourselves change agents, the change that you are looking for in the world. so you're young leaders like michael sawhney, who is here today. where is michael? there he is here in michael was inspired by america's rock the .ote voter initiative so he started his own by the bullet -- by the ballot comics use me, initiative. [laughter]
he said i have a new understanding of the meaning of person the -- perseverance, and delayed gratification. fighting for change that you may not live to see that your children will live to see. that is what this is all about. that is what we are all about. the cold war or world war, movements for economic or social justice, efforts to combat climate change. our best impulses have been to leave a better world for the next generation. merriam, where you? are you also behind me? there she is a top. it's that impulse that compels a young leader like marion that grew up as one of a in a small house month but i will use my education that i got at oxford to help any child have the same opportunity that i have.
and ali is here. the same impulse that led him to say i may have fled syria as a child, but now i'm in office, i'm going to use my power to help other refugees like me. where's becca? it's that impulse that compels a young leader like i could to say that as a woman with a disability, i may have fallen down some of people who believe in me pick me up. and i'm going to pay for it by fighting forward for people with disabilities and violence against women. because i believe the world can be a better place. you can't help but be inspired by the stories of young people like these, both in the united states and united kingdom.